Does current thinking about string theory and cosmology fundamentally change what constitutes "an acceptable theory" within science? In the latest Seed Salon, Paul Steinhardt, a theoretical physicist and developer of the cyclic model of inflationary cosmology, and Peter Galison, a philosopher of science, discuss that question and others.
Though it may lack momentary predictive power, theoretical science can and has achieved stunning insight by sending ahead another human success, warranted belief, to report on distant lands. Sure it's dangerous. One jenune perspective, for example, goes so far as to say that we bring the world into existence simply by observing it. It's utter crap, of course; belief is a tool and not and end, and the universe really is story independent. It's the difference between make belief and belief-made. Such speculative and unscience-like report may indeed be a surrender to a universe beyond our conceptual faculties. Or simply that we don't know, yet. It's fun either way.